Return to the Little Kingdom

Return to the Little Kingdom by Michael Moritz

Book: Return to the Little Kingdom by Michael Moritz Read Free Book Online
Authors: Michael Moritz
friend was engaged in the production of pornographic epics.
    Jobs and Rogers became high-school sweethearts. In Jobs’s final year of high school they played hooky, spent afternoons drinking wine, and talking. It was as bucolic an existence as suburban Santa Clara would allow. Jobs dropped his first LSD with Nancy in a wheat field. “It was great. I had been listening to a lot of Bach. All of a sudden the wheat field was playing Bach. It was the most wonderful experience of my life up to that point. I felt like the conductor of this symphony with Bach coming through the wheat field.”
    When he graduated from high school Jobs was thin and lean. The combination of long dark hair and a sparse beard convinced his mother not to buy more than one graduation photograph. After leaving Homestead, Jobs decided to spend the summer living with Nancy. The pair rented a room in a small cabin in the hills overlooking Cupertino and Los Altos. Nancy recalled, “It wasn’t a great statement. We just did it. Steve was headstrong so we could do it and my parents were falling apart so I could do it. We were really in love.” Jobs announced the move to his parents.
    “I just said one day, ‘I’m going to live with Nancy.’
    “My father said, ‘What?’
    “‘Yeah. We rented this cabin. We’re going to live together.’
    “He said: ‘No, you’re not.’
    “And I said: ‘Yes, I am.’
    “And he said: ‘No, you’re not.’
    “And I said: ‘Well, bye!’”
    Jobs and Rogers shared a romantic teenage summer. There were strolls to peer through the gates of the Maryknoll Seminary and long walks on Baldi Hill where Rogers painted a picture of a black woman on a wooden post. Jobs tried his hand at poetry, picked at a guitar, and along with Wozniak, was attracted by the music of Bob Dylan. They found a store in Santa Cruz that specialized in Dylan esoterica and sold reprints of songbooks, magazine profiles, and bootleg tapes of recording sessions and European concerts. They took some of the Dylan songbooks to SLAC where they copied them on a Xerox machine. There was also the occasional disaster where family ties came in handy. When Jobs’s Fiat short-circuited and caught fire on Skyline Drive, his father, towed it home. To help pay for the damage to the car and keep ends together Jobs, Wozniak, and Rogers found jobs at San Jose’s Westgate Shopping Center, where they donned heavy costumes and, for three dollars an hour, paraded around a children’s fairyland in a concrete Alice in Wonderland . Though Wozniak reveled in the activity, Jobs took a more jaundiced view: “The costumes weighed a ton. After about four hours you’d want to wipe out some kids.” Nancy played Alice. Wozniak and Jobs took turns masquerading as the White Rabbit and the Mad Hatter.

THE LITTLE BLUE BOX
    I n a litigious, Victorian English, American Telephone and Telegraph made its policy absolutely clear: “No equipment, apparatus, circuit or device not furnished by the Telephone Company shall be attached to or connected with the facilities furnished by the Telephone Company.” Dr. No, Cheshire Cat, The Snark, Cap’n Crunch, Alefnull, The Red King, and Peter Perpendicular Pimple disagreed. They were phone phreaks who spent their lives perfecting blue boxes—electronic gadgets the size of cigarette packets—which they used to make free long-distance telephone calls and tease, outwit, and infuriate the biggest company on earth.
    At the time, and especially in later years, the excuses for playing around with blue boxes and the mighty telephone system were as diverse and imaginative as the nicknames. The blue box offered an opportunity to explore the largest collection of computers devised by man. It provided a worldwide introduction to the marriage of hardware and software. It was an intellectual exercise. It was a challenge. It brought satisfaction. It grabbed people’s attention. It appealed to a passion for power. It was a privilege to converse with

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